Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal convicted in the US for terrorism
Controversial Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal has been convicted by a New York court of supporting ISIS while in Jamaica.
Born Trevor William Forest, he was extradited to the US in August 2020 after being indicted by the New York City Police Department on five counts of terrorism.
He is facing potential sentences ranging from seven to 25 years in prison.
The New York Times has reported that el-Faisal, who appeared in court on Thursday wearing a white shirt and white skullcap, listened quietly as the verdict was read and the jury polled.
It reports that during the trial that stretched over two months in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, prosecutors portrayed el-Faisal as a jihadist who had supported ISIS between 2014 and 2017 by spreading its propaganda.
Prosecutors said he even acted as a marriage broker for the group.
However, el-Faisal's lawyers described him as a blowhard who spouted noxious opinions.
The New York Times says one lawyer, Alex Grosshtern, told jurors el-Faisal had not recruited anyone to assist ISIS in a “specific act of terrorism”.
El-Faisal was deported from the United Kingdom to Jamaica in 2007 after serving four years of a nine-year prison sentence in London, where he had been convicted of three counts of soliciting the murder of Jews, Americans, Hindus, and Christians and two counts of using threatening words to stir up racial hatred.
Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.